Wine review: Matua Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2008

There are two kinds of New Zealand sauvignon blanc. The $10-$12 wines are full of citrus flavors and aroma, usually grapefruit, and not much else. The $15-$18 wines are more sophisticated – the citrus is still there, but it’s not as overwhelming, and there is more taste in the middle and a better finish.

Both are fine wines, and I drink a lot of each. But I really get excited when I find a New Zealand wine that has the qualities of the second group at more or less the price of the first group. Such is the Matua, which retails for around $13. It’s available at selected Majestic and Goody Goody stores, and most Central Markets.

It has lots of New Zealand-style citrus up front, as much lime as grapefruit. It’s not subtle, but it’s not supposed to be. What’s best, though, is that the Matua has a wonderful, pineapply-y middle. There still isn’t much of a finish, but that’s hardly a problem. Drink this, chilled, on its own, or with almost any chicken or seafood dish, short of something spicy or with a big cream sauce.

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